Unrealistic Marathon Running Aspirations


Until approximately 9am on Thursday, one of my running aspirations was to complete the six marathons that form the World Marathon Majors series.

For my non-running obsessed followers *waves* the events in the series are currently Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

As I will never be able to raise enough money to run for a charity, I am lucky to have completed the London Marathon twice as a ballot runner. I have, however, been unsuccessful in the New York and the Berlin ballots twice and the Chicago ballot once. I have never entered the Tokyo ballot. The final marathon in the series, Boston, has a qualifying standard (currently a sub 3 hrs 40 mins marathon for a F35 runner).

Unfortunately my marathon running aspirations were dealt a serious blow when I read “A runners’ guide to the world marathon majors 2015”. The blog post provides the following information on how much it would cost to enter each event:

  • Tokyo: ¥10,800 (£59) for domestic entry, ¥12,800 (£70) for overseas entry
  • Boston: $175 (£112) domestic, $225 (£143) international
  • London: £35 (a bargain!!) 
  • Berlin: Flat rate for all of €98 (£78)
  • Chicago: $185 (£118) for US residents, $210 (£134) for overseas
  • New York: US residents: $255 (£162) or $216 (£137). Non-US residents: $347 (£221)

By the time I factor in the cost of flights, accommodation, meals etc, with the exception of London and Berlin, the events in the series are far too expensive for me to even consider entering. At the age of 35 I need to be spending my money on boring sensible purchases (a house deposit would be a good starting point), and not overseas marathons.

As it is farewell to my World Marathon Majors aspirations, I decided to develop an alternative running challenge. I am the type of (sad) person who needs to have aims and aspirations in all aspects of my life.

English Marathon and Half Marathon SeriesMy Major EventsMy new running aspiration is to run either a large* marathon (or half marathon) in each of the six largest urban areas/cities in England.

*by large I mean an event with more than 1000 runners.

So Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York have been replaced by Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield (London features in both lists).

Unfortunately some of these cities do not currently have their own marathon. My home city Birmingham last held a marathon back in the 1980s. In these situations I have included the nearest large marathon I found during my limited initial research (i.e. a quick session on Google).

  • London: London Marathon & Royal Parks Half Marathon
  • Birmingham: Wolverhampton Marathon & Great Birmingham Run
  • Manchester: Greater Manchester Marathon & TBC
  • Liverpool: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & TBC
  • Leeds: Yorkshire Marathon & Leeds Half Marathon
  • Sheffield: TBC & Sheffield Half Marathon

I’m aware that I’ve previously stated that I want to support local/cheaper events. However, when it comes to running in excess of 13 miles, I believe that bigger is better. My theory is that more runners = more crowds = more support! I just need to find a suitable half marathon in or near to Manchester and a marathon in or near to Sheffield. Does anyone have any recommendations/suggestions?

So although I will probably never complete the remaining five events in the World Marathon Majors series, I am confident that if I manage to stay injury free I will be able to complete my alternative running challenge.

What are your running aspirations?


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